25-year-old Chlöe Swarbrick released a statement that lead to upset and controversy and became a trending phrase among United States teens.
November 22, 2019
When 25-year-old, Chlöe Swarbrick was giving a speech supporting the “Zero Carbon Bill,” which would lead to the decrease of the release of greenhouse gasses, an older member of parliament began to make remarks about Swarbricks age. Swarbrick was only forty seconds into her speech when this heckling began. Instead of allowing the situation to interrupt her speech she made the remark, “Ok boomer” and continued her speech. The phrase immediately began trending and spread into the United States as well as across New Zealand, the location where Swarbrick gave her speech. The remark was referencing the older generation commonly known as the “baby boomer generation.”
Once a great upset began to arise, Swarbrick took to Facebook to explain the remark and mention her intentions that in her point of view were harmless. “Today I have learnt that responding succinctly and in perfect jest to somebody heckling you about your age as you speak about the impact of climate change on your generation with the literal title of their generation makes some people very mad,” Swarbrick explained.
Swarbrick was right in acknowledging that the situation would upset many people. According to the Washington Post, openly conservative radio host, Bob Lonsberry, expressed his disgust on his radio station. Lonsberry stated that “ok boomer” was similar to other inappropriate slang and even comparable to racial slurs. On the other hand, social media is taking the situation in a bit more light-hearted manner. Snapchat released three stickers that read “ok boomer” and has five different giphs available for users. The hashtag was trending on twitter and tweets sent out using the key words “okay boomer” are still being posted as of 15 seconds ago. TikTok has had their take on the situation as well, allowing people of all ages to lip-sync to a variety of audio clips containing the phrase.
Now, people are simply making a joke out of the situation. Memes are circulating on social media that contain references to the phrase paired with familiar faces and characters. Some of the faces paired with the memes are Barack Obama, Megamind, and characters from the Simpsons. There are also companies that are producing merchandise with Swarbrick’s quote of “okay boomer” on sweatshirts, t-shirts, and even phone cases.